You’ve probably heard of Abraham. He’s the founding Father for three of the world’s major religions: Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. If you grew up in the church and attended Sunday School, you may have even sung about how, “Father Abraham had many sons, and many sons had Father Abraham.” He’s one of the most well-known people in the Bible. And for good reason, too. It was through this old, childless man and his barren wife that God decided to create a people for Himself.
Abraham is an example to us about having faith in God, but he is by no means perfect. He had his flounderings and failings. Abraham is just a normal, simple, everyday kind of guy. He’s no strong and mighty hero, he’s just a man that God graciously chose to bless and use for His purposes.
At the end of the day, the story we are about to hear isn’t so much about Abraham, it is about the God who called him. It’s clear that Abe is just like you and me.
He isn’t the hero of his own story, God is.
Even though God’s promise was impossible, since he and Sarai were both old and childless, Abraham believed God. Abraham was declared righteous because of his faith (Genesis 15:6). What does it mean to trust God when circumstances are out of your control?
The Gospel in its very nature is scandalous. Why do you think it offends people? What does it reveal about us? What does it reveal about God?
As Christians, we have a tendency of becoming too familiar with God’s grace. When we do this, we risk falling into an ‘us’ and ‘them’ mentality where we forget that saving faith is for all who believe. Who are the people who you inadvertently alienate from the promises of God? What practical things can you do to avoid falling into this trap?
Read Genesis 12:10-20 and then read Genesis 20:1-18. What is similar in these passages? What is different?
Why do you think Abraham used the same tactic in Genesis 20 (calling his wife his sister) with Abimelech that he used with Pharaoh in Genesis 12? What was motivating him? Why didn’t he learn the lesson the first time around?
What are some perpetual sins that Christians tend to struggle with? What advice would you give to those struggling with those sins regarding how to avoid them? Why do we struggle so much with committing the same sins over and over again?
In Genesis 18:25, Abraham asks God, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” How was God just in destroying Sodom?
In Genesis 13:12, Lot is enticed by the city of Sodom and moves his tents as far as the wicked city. Before long, he conforms and becomes a local and we see him conducting business at the city gates (19:1). Sin has a way of luring us in and blinding us to its power. What is an example from your context where sin lures in and destroys lives?